Mod downloading, rating etiquette and proper criticism

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The Elder Scrolls IV, to me, is by far the best game I've played aside from DDR. You have the opportunity to escape the everyday hoo-hah of real life. You can pour yourself into a wonderful game of fantasy, where you control almost every aspect. And the mods! Oh, Lord, the mods!

There are some incredibly talented modders here. I don't even need to mention names; they stand out enough as-is.

I was told by an old modder friend that 99.9% of mods for ANY game are made for the creator, and it's up to the creator whether their mods get shared. The same is true for myself and many modders I've been lucky enough to chat with.

So you can only imagine how horrid it feels when you pour your heart and soul into a project and make something wonderful that you then share with people you don't even know, only to have strangers criticise your work because it's not to their tastes.

I recently received a private message from one such individual who believed that I, as a teenage girl, should not be modding 'slutty' outfits like my Stealth Gear mod. I made that outfit for myself, and I released it because I knew some people would enjoy it.

I'm lucky that I got that message privately. Some wonderful modders didn't even get that. People flamed their work, flinging hurtful and obscene words around. And why?

Because people are selfish. Myself aside, why should ANYONE release their mods, especially when such ungrateful people feel the need to voice their opinion when it's not needed? We've lost too many brilliant artists thanks to selfish, small-minded morons.

Most modders mod for themselves. That is the bottom line.

Think about the person you're about to flame. They're doing what they enjoy, and nobody has the right to insult them because of it. There's a real person behind that computer screen, you know. They have feelings.

If you're commenting, do so intelligently.

You like the mod? Most author's would appreciate a simple 'Thanks for the upload!' and/or honest critique.

You like the mod, but it's not to your taste? Try politely asking the mod author to maybe create an alternate version, or edit the mod to suit your own tastes for your own private use.

The mod's awesome, but you found a bug? A simple bug report is enough. Don't just give a mod a low rating because of something that could've been simply overlooked. Inform the mod author of the bug and leave it at that.

Don't like the mod? Hit the back button. Don't waste the author's time with a snide comment about how much you hate it. You'll only embarrass yourself.

This is just my opinion. I couldn't care less if you disagree with me.

Again, if you don't like it, hit the back button.

[A big thanks to Stormraven for the title change idea and everyone who supports this opinion. Your comments are appreciated!]